April 15, 2016

What to do in Paris: Paris City Guide

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Paris is without a doubt the most magical city I have ever visited.  The cobblestone roads, amazing architecture, and beautifully preserved history everywhere you look, it was everything I had ever imagined and more, and even better than the Paris depicted in classic French novels and films, which is why for today's post, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things to do in Paris.

1. Eiffel Tower
Paris City Guide
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The Eiffel Tower is a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in both France and the world.  Touring the Eiffel Tower is a must!  You have the option to stop at the second level, or go all the way to the top, which is what we did (and I highly recommend).  The views of the city are incredible from the top of the Eiffel Tower and it is so neat to have a bird's eye view. 
*FYI: It costs about $20 to ride a lift to the top.  

2. The Avenue des Champs-Elysées
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Also known as "the world's most beautful avenue", The Avenue des Champs-Elysées is full of charming cafes, theatres and shops.  I loved window shopping, eating, and people watching all along the Champs-Elysées.  
*FYI: Blair Waldor and Serena Van der Woodsen spent time here!

3. Arc de Triomphe
Paris City Guide
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous and beautiful monuments in Paris, so stopping here is essential. We did not go inside for a tour here, but I have heard it is really nice at the top.  I love how the Arc de Triomphe ties everything in the city together, because you can see it from so many different locations.  

4. The Louvre
The Louvre is an absolute must.  You could spend days inside and still not see everything.  I loved seeing the Greek and Roman sculptures, and it was really special to see the Mona Lisa (warning: you may get trampled on!).  Also, be sure to go outside and see the Louvre Pyramid.
*FYI: I would recommend saving the Louvre for a rainy day activity because you will spend at least 4 hours inside.

5. Palace of Versailles
What to do in Paris
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The Palace of Versailles is amazing.  Out of all of the chateaus that we visited, this was by far my favorite.  I loved the Hall of Mirrors, the Marble Court, the Chapel and the golden gates out front.  Marie Antoinette's chambers were closed for renovations, which was tragic, because one of the main reasons we wanted to go was to see her style up close... next time!
*FYI: Order (and print hard copy) tickets online before arriving to save time.  The line is very long, no matter what time of day.  Also, it is not open every day, so be sure to check their website before making plans to go.

6. Notre Dame
Paris City Guide
We attended our first Catholic mass Easter morning at Notre Dame.  If you get a chance to go to a service/mass here, I highly recommend it!  This was one of the highlights of our time in Paris.  Notre Dame has the most amazing French gothic architecture and stained glass windows I have ever seen.
*FYI: We attended the 8:00 a.m. mass.  No lines, no costs, and they welcome tourists.

A few more of my favorite things...
Paris City Guide
You must go to Maison Laduree for macarons!!  We went to the big Laduree in Saint Germaine, but there is also one on The Avenue des Champs-Elysées.  The teal macaron is called the "Marie Antoinette"!   I loved walking around Saint Germaine.  It was not as touristy and had so many unique local cafes and shops.  Also, Chanel's first store and apartment are here.  I would definitely plan on visiting Saint Germaine!  
Paris City Guide
Paris City Guide
We had so many amazing meals, but my favorite meal was at Montparnasse 1900.  I ordered the tartar and it was absolutely amazing.  It looks disgusting (like a raw hamburger patty), but trust me, it was fabulous!!!  We also had a lot of yummy desserts/pastries and Italian food (the best pizza I've ever had!), especially when we were in Cannes and Nice.  We crossed over into Italy, but were not able to stay long because we had to catch a flight back to Paris.
FYI: If you order water, be sure to explain that you want tap water, because otherwise, they will charge you for a bottle of sparkling water for every meal (usually $5-$7), and that adds up fast!
Paris City Guide
We loved shopping at Galeries Lafayette.  This was such a cool area and had so many indoor and outdoor shops and cafes at all price points.  Plan on half a day here if you get a chance!
What to do in Paris
What to do in Paris
Beautiful Paris.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have you ever been to any of these places?  I would love to hear any recommendations I may have left out! :-)


  1. Great post, thanks for sharing. #5 is on my bucket list xo, Emily

  2. Amazing trip! I love macarons. Oh my God. Tartar dish... my favorite!

  3. Amazing pictures!! I would love to go to Paris someday!!

  4. Great post!

    I spent 6 days in Paris last summer and I absolutely loved it as well!
    I missed Galleries Lafayette though, looks incredible.
    If ever you get the chance to go back, you should also check out Jardins Luxembourg (an AMAZING garden) & the Père Lachaise cemetery!

    I've also written a post about my trip, would love for you to check it out :)